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A city of undeniable romance and adventure, Casablanca has been immortalised in film and literature. Nowhere does exotic like this Moroccan jewel, with its spice souqs and timeless architectural character.
A flight to Casablanca with Qatar Airways transports you to a city of wonder and charm that you will not soon forget.
While it is the commercial and economic heart of the nation, Casablanca also effortlessly juxtaposes the ancient with the modern. One of the most popular places to experience the spirit of the city is Old Medina (Bab Marrakesh), a small, traditional walled town in the north of the city.
The Mahkama du Pacha is a Hispanic-Moorish building that houses more than 60 ornately decorated rooms adorned in Moorish artwork. Delicately carved wooden ceilings, stuccoes and intricate wrought-iron railings are complemented by dazzling tiled floors, making this essential to your itinerary.
King Hassan II Mosque, while of relatively recent construction, is nevertheless an imposing structure. Commonly cited as the fifth largest mosque in the world, its minaret, at 210 metres, remains the world’s tallest.
To see just how influential the French were in Casablanca, head to The Quartier Habous, also known as Nouvelle Médina. Constructed in the 1930s to solve a critical housing shortage, it is a sublime blend of the French and Moroccan cultures. It has a wide selection of bazaars, bakeries, cafés and boutiques, and although it is a slightly more modern twist on the classic Casablanca, it is still worthy of a visit.
When you travel to Casablanca you’ll discover a rich variety of early 20th-century architecture, primarily designed by French architect Albert Laprade. He created the city’s Central Park, a serene open space to rest your weary limbs. One of Laprade’s finest additions to the city is the Phare d'el Hank lighthouse. Views from the top of the tower are a spectacular reward for the arduous climb.
A trip to Casablanca doesn’t begin and end with the city – it is a perfect base from which to discover North Morocco. Available excursions include those to Fez, the Atlas Mountains, or the inspiring desert landscape. Once back in town, try a stroll around the souqs.
In the winter months, the mountains are ideal for skiing. Enquire with La Fédération Royale Marocaine de Ski et Montagne, which has offices and information centres throughout the city. For a day at the beach, head to Aïn Diab Plage, which can be accessed via the Casa Tramway terminus.
Casablanca is known for cultural cross-pollination, which is reflected in its cuisine. French, Spanish and Moroccan delights await the hungry traveller and some of the best can be found in Nouvelle Médina. Local delicacies include fried eggplant, a variety of vegetable and meat dishes, and soupe Marocaine.
On the Blvd. Des Almohades, you’ll find authentic Moroccan restaurants built within the remains of an old fortress, serving traditional Moroccan dishes fused with contemporary elements. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes on offer, most of which are based around that Moroccan staple, couscous.
Also check out tajine dishes (named after the earthen pots that they are cooked in), such as tanjia and harira, which can feature lamb, chicken or vegetarian options. You could also consider following in the footsteps of Humphrey Bogart, at a themed bar. The proprietors so revere the movie their city inspired that the pianist plays As Time Goes By every night.
An advanced course in haggling is advisable prior to your trip to Casablanca. For an authentic experience, head to the souq at Nouvelle Médina (Quartier Habous), which has plenty of local crafts on offer. If you don’t fancy haggling, then stick to the more sedate surroundings of Morocco Mall, next to the beach in the Ain Diab district, which is said to be the second largest on the continent of Africa. For traditional Moroccan goods, such as tajines and leather goods, head for the area surrounding Old Medina. For high-end brands and luxury goods, the Maarif district is your best option.
Essential facts about Casablanca
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip